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MH370 Latest Search Update: Missing Malaysian Airline Plane Search Ending on June 2016

( [email protected] ) Dec 24, 2015 09:15 PM EST
It has been almost one year since Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 has gone missing.  Since March 2014, there has been very little word on any wreckage found from the crash, in spite of the big search that is still taking place.  This is the latest search update for Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370.
The Search for MH370. Getty Images

It has been almost one year since Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 has gone missing.  Since March 2014, there has been very little word on any wreckage found from the crash, in spite of the big search that is still taking place.  This is the latest search update for Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370. 

According to the International Business Times, the underwater search in the southern Indian Ocean for missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 is expected to conclude on June 2016.  This is a statement from the Australian Joint Agency Coordination Centre last Wednesday, and this search has been the largest and the most expensive in aviation investigation history with more than 30,000 square miles of sea floor being covered, at a cost of $75 million. 

There have been reports in recent months that aviation experts have stated that they believe investigators must be at least close to discovering the whereabouts of the Boeing 777.  The families of the 239 presumed dead passengers and crew of Flight MH370 have been critical of the handling of the investigation, complaining that the officials have failed to inform them of the search status. 

Very few traces of the plane have turned up, with varying reports of the debris sightings.    The only confirmed debris was found washed ashore on the French territory Reunion Island, and it was found to be part of the plane's wing. 

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau has a website that is devoted to the search for Flight MH370.  The last update was on December 23, 2015, and it states that "sometimes weekly progress may seem slow. Please be assured that work is continuing and is aimed at finding MH370 as quickly as possible".  They also report that "while search operations will continue uninterrupted over the Christmas/New Year period, there will be no MH370 Operational Search Update on Wednesday, 30 December 2015 or Wednesday, 6 January 2016".

Updates for this week include the Fugro Discovery continuing to conduct search operations with deep tow equipment and is scheduled to depart the search area around January 6, 2016.  Also, the Furgo Equator arrived in Fremantle for a scheduled resupply visit on December 21st.  This will be an extended visit which includes scheduled engine maintenance operations, and the vessel is expected to depart for the search area around December 29.  Finally, the Havila Harmony is conducting search operations using the Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV), and this AUV is currently surveying some of the most difficult portions of the search area that cannot be searched effectively using the deep tow sonar. 

The reports state that more than 80,000 square kilometers of the seafloor have been searched, and by the time June 2016 hits, over 120,000 square kilometers will be searched.  Assuming that the aircraft is found and accessible, Australia, Malaysia, and the People's Republic of China have agreed to plans for recovery activities, in order to secure all the evidence necessary for investigation of the accident.